Book Giveaway! Recipes for Disaster by Tess Rafferty

Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 · 23 Comments

My friend Tess writes jokes that probably already made you laugh. She spent years writing for The Soup, worked on roasts for Comedy Central, and now has a new book that perfectly captures the difficulties in maintaining perfect hostess calm while entertaining your drunk-ass friends.

I have been one of these drunk-ass friends on more than one occasion, and I’m almost positive none of my antics made it into this book. And that is a little shocking because I have had some moments in this lady’s backyard, including the morning I let myself into her pool at the same minute she opened her curtains while fully naked. Good morning! [I still promise I saw nothing!]

To make up for being an accidental pervy jerk, and because you guys love books+free stuff, I’m hosting a giveaway for FIVE COPIES of Tess’ fantastic RECIPES FOR DISASTER, a book you’ll want to read this holiday season while you’re making food, waiting on food, or during bouts of insomnia from planning your next holiday party.

Here she is, in her own words.

The holidays are coming.

For some people they claw outside your door like Zombies trying to get in. If you’re quiet you can hear them moaning.

For others, we fling our windows wide open to them like it’s sunshine in the morning after weeks of rain. [I SAID I WAS SORRY! - pamie]

Whether they fill you with dread or fill you with a sense of possibility one thing is certain: “Why am I doing this!?” will be uttered at least once in your home before it’s over.

Here’s another thing that is certain: you will get through them. No, they will not kill you, just make you stronger…and a better raconteur at your next gathering. Because the bright side of all of the stress of dinners and parties gone wrong is that the more things fall apart, the better the story you’re going to get out of it. I’ve written a whole book about things that have gone wrong at my dinner parties: sometimes it’s the food, sometimes it’s the guests. Sometimes things went so wrong I chose not to tell the story in print for fear it would damage relationships for life.

One time I was making a pie for a holiday dinner. I love making pie for my Husband because men pretty much feel the same way about pie as they do about a naked woman. Any one is great. They’re totally grateful the first time you give them pie, and they don’t take it for granted that they will ever see one again.

Only the crust was so dry I couldn’t roll the top piece out without it just cracking. I don’t know if the butter was too cold or if I didn’t use enough water, but one thing was certain: I was never getting this top part in one piece across the pie. I was stuck. It was about 8 in the morning and I had been at this since at least 7:30, having had the bright idea that I would get it out of the way early so that I could relax in the afternoon. I was unshowered, uncaffeinated and covered in flour. I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet and I couldn’t bear the thought that I would have to make a fresh batch of dough.

Then I got a great idea. I would use a cookie cutter to cut out stars, it was Christmas after all, and then layer the stars over the top of the pie using an egg wash to help them stick to each other, leaving gaps in between some of them to serve as vents. I was skeptical it would work, but an hour later it came out of the oven looking beautiful.

Somethings are just too beautiful for this world. This pie was one of them. The following night at dinner, as the guests arrived, each one passed where the pie was on display, remarking about how gorgeous it was and how they couldn’t wait to eat it. When it was time for dessert I walked into the dining room triumphantly carrying a cake stand in each hand, one for the flourless chocolate cake, the other with the pie on top. And that’s when it happened. The pie pan started to slide across the cake stand it was on. Back and forth until it became airborne, flipping over and landing star side down on the floor. Thud.

I didn’t lose my cool. I laughed about it and so did everyone else. And then one of my male guests said in complete earnest, “I don’t know about the rest of you, I’m still having some of that pie.”

See? Naked women.

We want to hear about your own dinner party disaster. Share in the comments section below between now and December 10th and Tess’ favorite five stories will win an autographed copy of her book, Recipes for Disaster.

Can’t wait to read it? You can buy it now. Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble

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23 Comments

  1. Adrienne
    December 3, 2012

    Let’s just say right off the bat that I love to plan parties. Well I did until I decided this year to take on a couple of parties that qualify as events moreso than the average fun dinner party my best friend and I would plan for the “high holidays” such as Fourth of July, Halloween, Friendsgiving, Christmakkah, etc.

    This time it’s my 10year high school reunion which as it stands is three weeks away, smack-dab in the middle of Christmakkah season. Full disclosure, I didn’t begin the planning of the party/event but when the traditional, expected to plan the reunion, organizers had to back out I said “hey why not?!”

    And now I know why. On a daily basis I wake up suddenly from an anxiety attack from the subconcious fear and knowledge that today I must stalk more classmates as social media has become the crutch of party planning everywhere. I have recently acquired a physical copy of the white pages (they still make those!) Pop a valium, and start going through the list of classmates I cannot get in touch with through modern technology. Because if I don’t get the minimum turnout, I’m out anywhere from $250-$2000 of my own money, depending on whether I can rely on the RSVP list.

    Let us not forget the fact that prior to my handling of the planning the date was decided to be the 22nd of December, my helper in party planning has suddenly realized that school and work were going to take up more time than previously anticipated so she had to drop out of assisting, and another set of classmates after offering help on many occasion with getting information regarding the planning have actually instead planned an “post reunion” party the day after with way better sounding drink and food options because they most likely can write it off as a business expense.

    I’m rethinking making the reunion classy and adult, and considering a kegger at some park gazebo.

    A

    Reply
  2. Bruce Lamesse
    December 3, 2012

    Can it still be considered a disaster if only the hostess knew about what went wrong?

    A number of years ago I was dating a woman who, before we were dating, held a dinner party that included broccoli with cheese sauce. While she was stirring the cheese sauce the phone rang, and she left the kitchen to answer it. The problem was the spoon she was stirring the sauce with was a plastic serving spoon, and she left it in the sauce. She was a little absent minded. She returned to find the entire bowl of the spoon gone…melted into the cheese sauce. She had neither the supplies nor the time to start from scratch, so, using a wooden spoon this time, she just blended it all together, and served it to her guests without telling them.

    Luckily, no one experienced any ill effects from the plastic-cheese sauce, and she received praise for the entire meal.

    She never told a soul until she told me, which was several years after the fact, and as far as I know, to this day those guests still aren’t aware of it.

    Reply
  3. Scraps
    December 3, 2012

    Generally speaking, it’s not a party unless I’ve injured myself in some way.

    Case in point: the housewarming party we threw when my now-fiance and I moved in together a few years back. Not only did it turn out to be the hottest June 25th in the history of June 25ths in North Florida, half of the guests were MIA for the sunset party, and that afternoon the air conditioner decided to flood the hall carpet (thanks to clueless landscapers that laid sod over the overflow pipe) and had my boyfriend and brother digging said pipe out with their hands.

    There I was, an hour before party-time, preparing the last entree for the buffet when I turned around, Pyrex measuring cup of chicken stock in my hand, my foot slipped and before Todd could turn around I was horizontal. Thankfully the dishwasher door had been open as that prevented my head from crashing into the floor and somehow I managed to keep my left hand level enough that only 1/2 cup of stock spilled out and onto my dress!

    But the dress had a busy pattern and was long enough to cover the 3″ goose egg that formed on my calf, so by outward appearances all was as right as it ever was.

    Reply
  4. RJ
    December 3, 2012

    Going back to 1980s college days, my roommate and her boyfriend were hosting a cookout. Burgers, hot dogs, and beer – nothing fancy. My roommate had this friend who had a reputation for being difficult about a number of things. I don’t know if she just didn’t eat red meat or what the issue was, but the boyfriend had a plain chicken breast, just for her, ready to go on the grill. I was in the kitchen helping him out when the chicken breast tumbled from the plate onto the floor. The only chicken breast in the house and the only thing she would eat. We looked at each other in horror until he said to me, “You never saw that; it never happened,” and he picked the chicken off the floor and put it back on the plate. I never saw it; it never happened, and the rest of the party was a success.

    Reply
  5. Rhonda
    December 3, 2012

    I hope this counts since it wasn’t my party, but… I was attending a child’s birthday party and I went outside to enjoy my beverage with less chaos. Then I noticed a swarm of bees flying under the siding of the house. This house has a history of bees making a home in it. So I calmly mention the bees to the host and hostess. The hostess says, “oh. Yeah that’s not good. We will deal with it later.” The husband, on the other hand, decided to kill the bees right then. He gets out some kind of smoker with bee poison in it and starts waving it at the bees. Unbeknownst to him, the smoke was pouring into the house, where all the little children were, essentially poisoning the guests.

    While the house was filling with toxic gas, it also began filling with dead and dying bees. Fun for the kids! Wisely, the hostess asked everyone to go outside and play until the party was over.

    PS, I once hosted a party where a drunk guest found a loaded gun in another guest’s car (I live in Texas) and proceeded to wave it around in my front yard. No one got shot. I hope there is a section in the book for how to deal with drunks holding weapons, as it might happen again.

    Reply
  6. Jessie
    December 3, 2012

    When my husband and I were in our early 20s, we were invited to a dinner party at a friend’s house. They were a little older, much more sophisticated, and we were nervous. We brought our dear friend along with us (he was acquainted with the other couple as well). We should’ve known better. He sometimes has the maturity level of an 8 year-old. This was one of those nights. During dinner, he started talking about how meat “makes its own gravy.” With every new topic we tried to introduce, he’d say, in a fake Scottish accent, “But does it make it’s own gravy??”

    We were mortified. And we were never invited to dinner again.

    Another time, out to dinner at a Thai restaurant, he started talking about colostomies, wondering if the colostomy bag could make sounds similar to bagpipes. Colostomy bagpipes.

    Yeah. That.

    Reply
  7. Courtney
    December 4, 2012

    In college, my friends and I decided to have an early Thanksgiving party before everyone left for the holiday. We bought a turkey and everyone brought a side dish to contribute. Of course, as 20-year-olds, we had never tried cooking a turkey. We knew enough to take the plastic wrapper off the bird and to cook the stuffing separately, in order to avoid undercooking and possible food poisoning.

    Of course, since we weren’t stuffing the bird, we didn’t think to reach our hands up inside the cavity, where Butterball likes to hide the plastic package of gizzards and the neck. What did we know?

    We cooked the heck out of that sucker and it looked beautiful! Golden and tasty. Until we cut far enough into it to realize there was a giant plastic blob in the middle of the bird, along with the neck (which looked like a giant turkey penis when we pulled it out).

    I ate a lot of green bean casserole that night.

    Reply
  8. Julie Nilson
    December 4, 2012

    It was the first time we hosted Christmas in our first house. My FIL’s wife and SIL, for some reason, were under the impression that I couldn’t cook so I wanted to prove them wrong. (It isn’t true that I can’t cook–I just don’t love it the way they do. Also, why is the cooking only my responsibility and not my husband’s? But I digress…) So I planned to make a nice pot roast with lots of veggies, and got my mom’s recipe for Yorkhire pudding.

    Part of her recipe for Yorkshire pudding requires you to scoop some of the juices from the pot roast and put a little bit into the bottom of each muffin cup. I had decided to try and be healthful and found a pot roast recipe that was designed to cut out a lot of the fat–but that fat is apparently necessary to the Yorkshire pudding recipe. To keep the puddings from adhering to the muffin tin like they were made of gorilla glue.

    So while my critical guests were all waiting in the dining room, I was beating the crap out of the muffin tin, trying to get it to release the puddings. My husband tried to help but I declined, because it was my fight, dammit!

    I did finally get most of them mostly out of the pan (they were more muffin top than pudding), but my husband told me later that the sound of me pounding on the muffin pan was echoing through the house like gunshots but I was so mad that everyone was afraid to tell me to just forget the puddings.

    Reply
    • Pamie
      December 4, 2012

      My mother had a fight with Yorkshire pudding probably three times a year for my entire childhood. And every time she’d sit through that meal, furious. She never got it right.

      (PS: When you put in too much fat, you get a wet, grease-soaked pudding. We had to eat that one time, too.)

      Reply
  9. Whitney
    December 4, 2012

    In my family, we call that “floor pie.” Seriously, we do. It dates back to my aunt dropping a peach pie all over my grandmother’s kitchen floor one 4th of July. Half of it was still edible, so we ate it. Now no one in my family can show up with, or even TALK about making a pie without being asked “is it floor pie?”

    Reply
  10. Kate
    December 4, 2012

    A few years ago I was put in charge of making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving at my parents house. My mother ended up taking it out of the oven when it was done, and she set it on top of the stove. What she didn’t realize at the time was that the (electric) burner was on. Maybe a half hour later, everyone is in another room and we all hear a huge pop – the pie plate had gotten so hot it shattered, shooting chunks of glass and globs of pumpkin pie all over the kitchen.

    We really lucked out in that nobody was in the kitchen at the time, so nobody spent Thanksgiving in the hospital. “Did Mom blow anything up?” is now the standard by which all holidays are judged.

    Reply
  11. Judy
    December 4, 2012

    As in prior years, my sister hosted this past Thanksgiving dinner. We’re a small group: my sister, her husband, and their 6 year old twins, my mother and two of her friends all close to eighty, and me and my boyfriend. The morning of Thanksgiving my sister called me to say that her husband hadn’t been feeling well and had gone to urgent care where he was told he had pneumonia. My sister had contacted the elderly contingent who voted to carry on with the meal and she asked that I come early to help her with the kids and the preparations. My brother-in-law had always done the turkey but we looked on the internet and had a plan.

    Thanksgiving was called for 3:00 so I arrived at 12:30. The kids and I set the table and then worked on writing and rehearsing a show while my sister worked out. Around 2:00 my sister told me she was going to take a shower but she was worried the turkey might finish and I should listen for the timer. I hesitantly told her I could handle it. About five minutes later, she came back without any pants on. She had started to take a shower and then changed her mind about letting me handle the turkey. So, she was standing in the kitchen, basting the turkey with no pants on, when she looked out the front window and saw that my mother and her friends – basically all the guests – had arrived.

    We are used to my mother being early. She is always early. In fact, we had taken bets on how early she would be. But an hour early on Thanksgiving was an all time record and sent my sister into a complete dizzy. I went outside and told them they needed to come back in an hour. But first, I helped them unload the car as they had brought some sides and dessert and a box of respiratory masks for us all to wear so as not to catch anything from my brother-in-law (who, by the way, never made an appearance.) I am not sure how you eat Thanksgiving dinner wearing a respiratory mask.

    The guests all came back at the appointed time. The kids and I performed our show which included a brief Thanksgiving play, a rousing interpretative dance to Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” by my niece and a more turgid, ironic dance performance by my nephew to Cake’s “Short Skirt, Long Jacket.” After the show, my sister who was now wearing pants pulled the turkey out of the oven. She had no idea how to carve it and pretty much mangled it but it ended up tasting fine.

    The sides were heating in the oven, we were all chit chatting, when my niece pulled me aside and whispered in my ear, “Aunt Judy, my momma said she has to help my daddy now so we should go ahead and eat without her.” So, I grabbed the sides which were steaming hot out of the oven. placed all the food in a buffet line and called everyone to dinner.

    But, somehow, between my pulling the food out of the oven and everyone getting their food and sitting down to eat, the food had turned stone cold. We did not discuss it. We just ate our cold awful food. The mash potatoes, besides being called did not include any sort of seasoning. For dietary reasons, my sister did not include butter, milk, or sour cream. The recipe called for onion power but she did not have any. Worse, mash potatoes ever.

    My mother finally said some bullshit about how the food isn’t important and that it’s the people and how nice it is that we’re all together, blah, blah, blah. As I later looked enviously through my friends’ Thanksgiving pictures on Facebook, I couldn’t have agreed less….

    Reply
  12. Kelly
    December 4, 2012

    My biggest party planning problem is thinking I’m way more popular than I am… I always have SOOOOO much stuff left over. It’s embarrassing…. Not that leftover alcohol is a bad thing – it doesn’t go bad, but still…. Why are my friends lying liars that lie with their RSVP’s???

    Reply
  13. Katy
    December 5, 2012

    Love these stories!

    Best dinner party advice I ever received was from my mother and step-mother as they sat in the kitchen with me talking me off a ledge during preparations for my first dinner party… Nobody cares if you are sitting on various “chairs and other seating apparatus”, eating on a steamer trunk covered in some random fabric scrap meant to resemble a tablecloth and literally cried through much of the day trying, unsuccessfully, to cook everything…. Just as long as you greet your guests with enthusiasm and serve lots of wine!!!

    Reply
  14. Kimberly Littlejohn
    December 6, 2012

    One year for Thanksgiving my Grandmother proudly announced that she had made home made cranberry sauce this year. My uncle looked at the dish and announced to the family that she had even made the rings on the cranberry’s just like when you get it out of the can. This lead to a dinner discussing how much time she had put into carving the cranberries. It turned out that while my Grandmother had made home made cranberry sauce she hadn’t made enough so she supplemented with some caned cranberrise. Now we never have a family get together with out asking for the home made cranberries with the can marks on it.

    Reply
  15. JoAnna
    December 7, 2012

    I’m not sure if it would be considered a dinner party, but we hosted a Mexican-themed potluck and (stupidly) let people bring their families. Parents used this as an opportunity to let their little ones go, and by the end of the night, there were footprints up our walls. I’m pretty sure the copious amounts of margarita that were consumed had nothing to do with this.

    Reply
  16. Andrea
    December 7, 2012

    My story actually starts out disturbingly similar to Tess’s! A couple of years ago, my fiance Shaun and I found ourselves staying in Toronto for Christmas — we live here but have no family here, so we ended up doing a “Friend Christmas” with two other couples who were also in town with no family. We hosted Christmas Eve dinner at our place.

    My family and Shaun’s are both French Canadian, so a big holiday tradition for us is “tortiere”, or meat pie! My mom makes great meat pie, so when she realized we were on our own for the holidays, she actually couriered a meat pie to us. Actually, she sent us two — one of her traditional recipe, and one of her partner’s, which uses moose meat. (I know, could we BE any more Canadian??)

    However, being on our own for the holidays, I also decided to be a grown up and try making my OWN meat pie, using Shaun’s mom’s recipe.

    So, realizing I was going to have THREE different varieties of meat pie, I did what any good, competitive French Canadian girl would do — I decided would Christmas eve dinner would be a MEAT PIE TASTE-OFF!

    When making my pies, like Tess, I noticed the crust seemed impossibly dry. I tried and tried and could NOT, for the life of me, roll out a top crust. Getting frustrated, I came to exactly the same conclusion Tess did. I had little snowflake cookie cutters, and I decided a pie covered with SNOWFLAKES would be seriously the most adorable thing ever.

    And, it totally was! The pie looked glorious. However, in addition to the impossibly dry crust, I ALSO apparently forgot to add any liquid to the meat filling. All I put in was dry cooked shredded meat, which then had to be baked again. In an already dry crust.

    Come Christmas Eve, everyone gathered at our place. I served up my Mom’s pie, which looked and tasted fabulous. I served up the moose meat pie, which also looked and tasted fabulous. I served up MY pie, which — completely disintegrated the second it was touched. Seriously, it looked like a casserole. A bad, dry, casserole that had possibly been sitting under the bed for the past week.

    (Behold photographic evidence; I won’t even bother telling you which one is mine: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UcBZVP-em60/UMKjopaO5dI/AAAAAAAAB30/NuN4rzzVVhw/s320/IMG_5738.JPG )

    Being the industrious girl that I am, I decided to quickly alter our score cards. (Yes, of course there were score cards. This was a TASTE OFF.) Anyway, one category was for appearance, so I altered the attributes for a “5″ from “That’s one perfect pie!” to “Beautiful; has snowflakes”, thus ensuring only my pie could receive top marks in that category.

    It didn’t work. I still came in third, aka LAST. The moose meat came in first. Obviously. And to this day, we use “Snowflake pie” as a euphamism for anything that’s gone to shit. As in, “This story started off promising but has totally gone snowflake pie.”

    Reply
  17. Tess Rafferty
    December 10, 2012

    Wow! So many tales of disaster! Am I ever glad I’ve never been asked to dinner at your house! This was really hard to pick my top five and I want you all to know that you are truly entertainers whose overreaching is fit for a chapter of Recipes for Disaster. And remember, everyone is a winner who didn’t blow themselves up deep frying a turkey.

    Here are my picks:

    Rhonda – Guns in a car and toddlers being gassed? This is not just a disaster, it sounds like an ATF operation.

    Scraps – Having just found myself lying horizontal on the floor in a Spanx/High Heels related incident, I could relate to your tale of woe.

    Bruce – I may never eat melted cheese at anyone’s house again.

    Kate – I’ve had a glass plate explode on a burner before. It’s not just for meth cookers anymore.

    Andrea – Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I was immediately drawn to your pie story. But I particularly enjoyed how you tried to rig your own bakeoff. If you ever come south of Toronto, you could have a future in American politics, which is a huge piece of “Snowflake Pie.”

    May you ALL have a disaster free holiday season!

    Cheers!

    Tess

    Reply
    • Rhonda
      December 10, 2012

      Thanks Tess! Today I feel like a winner.

      Reply
  18. lisa
    December 10, 2012

    I threw my first dinner party when I was in college. It was an early Thanksgiving potluck, and since I was the only one who knew how to cook, I was in charge of the turkey and therefore hosting. I managed to set off my smoke detectors twice, which immediately put in a call to our campus police- who also happened to be state troopers. The second time they showed up to find me sitting on my front steps pouting was the hardest I ever saw them laugh!

    Over an hour after my friends arrived, the turkey still wasn’t done. We cut it up as best we could and microwaved it. I think that was the only Thanksgiving I ever went to where we ran out of salad and mashed potatos!

    Reply
  19. Elsa
    December 10, 2012

    Does it count if it was a seminal childhood dinner-party disaster? On the night of The Flying Chicken, Mom showed me how you can rise above any entertaining accident if you keep your cool.

    My parents were hosting a party for Dad’s colleagues, including his boss and his boss’s boss. Everyone was dolled up and enjoying cocktails in the candle-lit open-plan living room/dining room adjacent to the brightly lit kitchen. That insured them a full view of my mother, dressed to the nines, removing the enormous chicken dish, rich with cream and herbs and bubbling hot, from the oven… and they also had a full view of the gorgeous red enamel casserole — so eyecatching! — as it slipped from her hands, flipped upside-down, and SPLATTED to the floor.

    My mother cemented her reputation as a cool and collected hostess that night. Instead of cursing or cringing, she turned to the assembled guests with a laugh and said, “I hope everyone likes Kentucky Fried Chicken!” Dad hustled out to get take-out while Mom quickly cleaned up and kept everyone entertained, then served all the delectable side dishes with a big bucket of fried chicken as the main course. She could have burst out crying or lost her cool, but instead she kept it together and made everyone comfortable, which is the essence of entertaining.

    I found out recently that the scorching hot Flying Chicken warped the brand new flooring, which must have been pretty hard to laugh off, but Mom managed it.

    Reply
  20. Elsa
    December 10, 2012

    Also, my obligatory pie story:

    My mother-in-law asked me to bring something for Thanksgiving dessert. “Whatever you want. Maybe pie? Whatever you want, though. But maybe pie. Maybe apple pie. Apple pie is nice. Or pumpkin. But whatever you want. But apple and pumpkin pie are nice.”

    “So, apple and pumpkin pie?”

    “Oh, whatever you want to make! What do you like?”

    “Well, I like blueberry pie.”

    “Hmm. Apple or pumpkin are nice.”

    So, obviously, I made apple and pumpkin pie. (I didn’t really mind: I love good apple pie, and pumpkin is The Fella’s favorite, so it was fine!)

    Oh, the attention I lavished on those pies! The pumpkin pie (from Cooks’ Illustrated) is the most finicky pie I’ve ever made, but BOY HOWDY is it good. But the apple pie — ooooh, the apple pie. I made it extra big, extra high, with three kinds of apple for the best possible texture and flavor.

    I crimped the delicate pastry so perfectly. I brushed the crust with egg white and scattered coarse sugar over it so it glistened like fairy dust. I baked it to a gorgeous glistening golden luster. I took it out of the oven and gasped at its beauty; I carried the hot pie out to the living room to show The Fella, who gasped, too.

    And the scent of it! You remember the old-timey cartoons where pie cooling on a windowsill would lift hobos into a dreamlike bobble through the air? This was that pie. This pie had hobo-floating capability.

    It cooled overnight. I wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth and then in a plastic bag, readying it for the ride to dinner; we were catching a ride with my in-laws. The rest of the goodies, we packed into a cooler in the bed of the pick-up, but the apple pie was to ride in the generous backseat, nestled safely into the space between me and my mother-in-law.

    We greeted each other with hugs, then settled into the car. I waited for MIL to sit, then ensconced the pie in safety, mentioning “This is the apple pie. As long as we don’t, I dunno, put our handbags on top of it, it’ll be fine here.” IMMEDIATELY after I said that, my MIL scooched over in the seat and sat on the pie.

    Sat. On. The. Pie.

    Because it was wrapped in plastic, she didn’t get besmirched by crushed apple and pastry. It’s hard to know what went through her mind as she felt the high, crisp crust and tender apples yield to her posterior; indeed, she didn’t indicate by word or gesture that anything unusual had happened. She scooched over, sat on the pie, then scooched back to her seat.

    I gaped. Then I closed my mouth, planted a firm smile on my face, and pretended I wasn’t crushed. But I was, just as crushed as that pie.

    I still mourn that pie. That poor, poor pie.

    And now, when my mother-in-law asks me to bring Thanksgiving dessert, I bring gingerbread — which is unglamorous and no trouble at all, which smells lovely but won’t levitate anyone, and which my SIL (who usually hosts) prefers, anyhow.

    And I make mindbogglingly lovely pies to eat at home with The Fella.

    Reply
  21. JR
    December 14, 2012

    My pie disaster story is similar to Elsa’s. We were headed to Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house, and I’d placed the pies on the back seat of the car. I stupidly left the door of the car open while I went in the house to bring out another armful of holiday goodies, and our dog, who loved loved LOVED car rides and thought he was going to get to go with us, lept up onto the back seat and scampered all over the pies.

    I took the pies back into the kitchen to assess the damage. Each pie had been covered with Saran Wrap, which, miraculously, had not broken. Each pie was left with several paw prints stamped into it, but they were otherwise perfectly fine. So I did what anyone would do – I covered them in whipped cream and never told anyone.

    Reply

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